The MPAA is screwed up big-time on swearing. The King's Speech was practically a PG-rated film but was given an R rating because of one scene where the main character drops an F-bomb constantly. They refused to look at the context of the scene and just slapped the movie with an R-rating, which was absolutely ridiculous. That was a movie you easily could have taken kids to see. It was ridiculous.
Cameron definitely didn't have the stroke back in 1997 that he does now. He had been widely ridiculed for Titanic being so overbudget. The consensus was that the film would bomb or at least not do very well when it came out.